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Navigating Around the Drawing

In order to work effectively, you must be able to navigate around the drawing by controlling what is displayed on your screen. Sometimes it is necessary to zoom in close to your drawing to do detailed work, whereas at other times you might need to zoom out to see the big picture. If you are zoomed in close, but the portion of the drawing you need to work on next is off the edge of the screen so it is not visible, you need to be able to shift the display to view that area of the drawing. In AutoCAD this is referred to as panning.

The easiest way to navigate around the drawing is using the Pan and Zoom tools located on the navigation bar shown in Figure 2-16.

Selecting the Pan tool changes the cursor to a little hand icon that you click and drag in the drawing window to shift your display. If necessary, you can click and drag repeatedly until you reach the desired location in the drawing. When you reach the area of the drawing you want to display, press the <Enter> or <Esc> key to exit.


FIGURE 2-16 The Pan and Zoom tools on the navigation bar

There are a number of Zoom tools to select from. The default Zoom tool is Zoom Extents, which is explained next. Clicking on the down arrow at the bottom of the Zoom Extents button displays the shortcut menu shown in Figure 2-17 with all of the different Zoom tools.


FIGURE 2-17 The Zoom tools

Some of the more useful Zoom tools include:

  • Zoom Extents Displays everything visible in your drawing by fitting the outermost extents of your drawing information within the AutoCAD drawing window. Good command to use if you “lose” your work off the screen and you want to get it back

  • Zoom Window Allows you to define a rectangular window area to zoom in on by specifying two corner points of a boundary area

  • Zoom Previous Restores the previous pan/zoom display so you can back up through your pan/zoom history. It DOES NOT undo any other commands; it affects only the display. AutoCAD keeps track of up to 10 previous views

  • Zoom Realtime Changes the cursor to a magnifying glass icon with a plus/minus sign indicating that you can click and drag the mouse up the screen to zoom in closer to the drawing, and click and drag the mouse down the screen to zoom out farther from the drawing

Zooming with a Wheel Mouse

If you use a wheel mouse with your computer, AutoCAD will make use of the scroll wheel. When you scroll the wheel up and down, AutoCAD will zoom in and out, respectively. The zoom will be centered about the location of the cursor.

Pressing and holding down the scroll wheel allows you to dynamically pan around the drawing.

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